While many of his Britpop contemporaries are content to drag their increasingly saggy posteriors around the country - reforming for money-making purposes and trading solely on nostalgia - Jarvis Cocker can’t seem to stop re-inventing himself. It’s no big surprise: amid the Oasis and Blur hysteria back then, Pulp were the thinking kid’s pin-ups, musically and lyrically the pick of the bunch by far. And while the Sheffield-born chap is a little more scruffy (check the facial fuzz) and subdued these days, he consistently proves that he’s lost none of the creative spark and savvy that propelled him to fame all those years ago.

Holing up with legendary sonic wizard Steve Albini in his Chicago-based Electrical Audio studio last year,

Cocker conjured up second solo offering Further Complications - tipped by gossip-mongers before its release in May as his ‘Jarvis goes rock’ project. And, well, they were kind of right. The record is the ex-Pulp man’s grittiest and most mature-sounding work to date, his trademark wit and compelling storytelling driven by bluesy guitar, honky tonk piano, thundering drums and the occasional yell and shriek alongside delicately arranged melancholy ballads. On ‘Caucasian Blues’ there is even something of the Nick Cave in his delivery - clearly no bad thing.

These latest efforts make for majestic listening, and word has it Cocker’s on top of his game performance- wise too. So Glasgow-dwellers enjoy; you get him on the second date of his forthcoming UK tour, no doubt fresh, fired-up and keen to re-affirm his place as one of Britain’s finest showmen. We predict success.

(Camilla Pia)


stealing their riders,“ Davidson adds).

(Malcolm Jack)


Barrowland, Glasgow, Wed 24 Jun

Like a dozy-eyed mammal emerging post-hibernation. American rockers Brand New are resurfacing after what has seemed like a slumbersome last couple of years.

And it's good news, for instead of catching up on 40,000 winks and conserving energy, these masters of melancholy have been busy sqwrreled away in the studio working on the follow-up to 2006's The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me.

Purveyors of introspective alternative rock that dodges between distortion pedal rattling rock outs and acoustic musings, frontman Jesse Lacey and Co. amassed a devoted following back in the golden days when the inimitable Kangaroo Jack graced Our movie screens and the idea of Twitter would have sounded like it came from the squiffy imagination of that swaying man in the bus stop.

In 2003. Brand New's sophomore album was released and so was the seminal single 'Sic Transit Gloria . . . Glory Fades'. a track enjoying classic quiet/loud synergy and rather sumptuous vocal layering. And let us not forget about that bassline.

It‘s a sure-fire song to reduce the rabid crowd to a bunch of Tiggers whilst ‘Sowing Season' showcases their more atmospheric side and makes for an engaging live performance. But with Brand New‘s upcoming fourth album gestating well and ready to be unleashed soon. there's surely the chance of some new material being showcased. Or brand new material, should we say. Either way. it's bound to leave us pondering why the gits haven't been to Scotland since way back in 2007. The cheek. (Chris Cope)

Cult Glasgow ska punk veterans The Amphetameanies‘ line-up, past and present. includes members of Bis, Belle and Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand. Bassist Gordon Davidson refutes the suggestion that it must be frustrating being in all these guys' ‘other‘ band. “What few people appreciate is that these guys consider us as their main band.’ he says. tongue possibly in cheek. ‘lt's just that their side-projects are more financially successful.‘

The Amphetameanies play their annual homecoming gig at King Tut's this month. which they've sold out every year for over a decade. Davidson recalls some fond memories of past shows, such as covertly distributing 300 whiskey miniatures to the crowd and being joined for a triumphant, guitar solo-tastic cameo by Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos in 2007. Other memories include such triumphs as opening T in the Park in 1999 and playing support slots for many of their heroes, including The Skatalites and Rancid (‘and then

Currently, the band are working on their ‘rather tuneful' third album. It's the freshness of their material, Davidson insists. that keeps The Amphetameanies' fans coming back. ‘With ska bands, there can be a lot of recycling and repetition of the old classics. but we never wanted to do covers the idea was to write some classics of our own.‘ Davidson explains. “Nothing fills us with more glee than spotting folk in the audience who know the words and are singing along. It's helpful for Stan our singer too, because he tends to forget the words.‘

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